Atypical collaboration

Today is our first presentation before members of the Charleston Parks Conservancy. While we’re only presenting our analysis of the site and potential schematic plans, it still feels like we have a lot to show.

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I’ve never presented a project with eleven other students before, so I’m not exactly sure what to expect during the actual presentation. Sure I have office experience where working in larger groups is often the norm, but this feels different. There are similarities, like breaking into groups to work on specific topics and the constant coordinating and communication across different groups. Everyone is open to ideas and has stepped up to help other groups for their research or to finalize the presentation.

But the biggest difference for me is how there’s no clear leader of this project, and honestly, it’s refreshing. It’s not that no one has stepped up to fill the role, but more the fact that (at least right now) it’s essentially unnecessary. From what I’ve seen, getting to work equally with other designers, unlike in an office, has made ideas flow more freely. Tasks like brainstorming ideas for our layout, choosing a graphic style and color palette for the schematic plans, and even researching the different topics… these have all been made easier because of this type of collaboration. Sometimes it can be tricky, making sure we are staying on track both as a group and individually and not inadvertently decelerating, but working on a project with this many people, there’s an inherent sense of personal responsibility. And while it may sound counterintuitive to not have a “project manager”, so far it’s working.

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